‘Refuge Cove’ affirms Grace Cummings as one of Melbourne’s hottest new talents

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‘Refuge Cove’ affirms Grace Cummings as one of Melbourne’s hottest new talents

Photo: Jamie Wdziekonski
Words by Chris Bright

Filled with raw power.

Grace Cummings is the latest artist signed to Flightless Records, the label responsible for some of Australia’s biggest and boldest bands, such as Amyl and The Sniffers, Stonefield and Tropical Fuck Storm. As you can expect, Cummings’ style is unique and damn good.

There’s not much production value, apart from one or two instruments backing her raw and powerful voice.

Refuge Cove opens strongly with ‘The Look You Gave’. You can hear every natural break in Cummings’ haunting vocals, causing momentary tingles as she breaks full stride amidst harmonica interludes.

‘Other Side’ is reminiscent of Bob Dylan’s ‘The Times They Are a-Changin’’, with a playful acoustic strum and throaty vocals controlling the harmony.

Things slow with ‘Lullaby For Refuge Cove’, which isn’t as commanding, as well as ‘Sleep’ and ‘Lullaby For Buddy’, which are soft but successfully showcase Cummings’ impressive vocal range.

‘There Flies A Seagull’ builds gradually, breaking into a bluesy riff and sucking you in with layered vocal backing that comes in and out. A similar effect appears on ‘Paisley’, a soulful ode to the small Scottish town.

The album finishes with ‘Just Like That’, a short ditty cut so raw, it feels like it’s being played live right next to you, and ‘In The Wind’, which utilises bass-heavy piano backing to emphasise the superb vocal control of this exciting new artist.